Alison Herman

Alison Herman
Tomatometer-approved critic
Publications: Flavorwire, The Ringer

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
100% Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (2019) In her willingness to invite others into her romantic, family, and interior lives, Slate gives the distinct impression she's not performing at all. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 25, 2019
35% Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (2019) Sticks and Stones is designed to generate inflammatory coverage... It's a symbiotic cycle with no end in sight, and it's become the last thing a beloved provocateur should ever want to be: predictable. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 29, 2019
100% Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted (2015) Simply surviving what Notaro has is inspirational in and of itself, of course. But Boyish Girl Interrupted puts the machinery required to translate those experiences into great comedy on full display. It's almost awe-inspiring. But mostly, it's funny. - Flavorwire EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 1, 2019
100% Bo Burnham: Make Happy (2016) A shockingly prickly, frequently meta medley of stand-up and song that challenges Burnham's fans more than it caters to them. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 15, 2019
100% Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (2016) Cobra is a contradiction in terms ,  and the sly, surface-level hypocrisy is part of Wong's genius, building to one of the most skillful closers in recent memory. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
100% Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats (2014) One of the Greats opens with a montage that styles Peretti after her idols, and the special itself is filled with cutaways to Peretti in character, often as a clown. It's a fittingly weird and inventive approach for someone like Peretti. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
100% John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015) Watch for the laughs, but also the pleasure of watching a masterful entertainer grow into his talents. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
100% Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers (2015) The final third of Thoughts and Prayers is a thrilling break from his established pattern, a near-20-minute meditation on public performance of sympathy in the wake of tragedy. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
100% Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (2016) Comedy Camisado is a reminder that underneath it all, Buress is one of the best stand-ups working today, with a relaxed, beta-male vibe that belies his near-total unflappability. - Flavorwire EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
86% Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) Ansari flips from being the subject of uncomfortable questions to decisively weighing in on those same dilemmas. It's an abrupt and audacious switch... Regardless, at BAM, Ansari manages to carry the audience right along with him. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 9, 2019
80% Late Night (2019) Late Night's treatment of the host herself is considerably less tidy, and the movie is all the stronger for it. Thompson and Kaling are under no illusions that Katherine's gender would make her any gentler, kinder, or more empathetic... - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 10, 2019
97% Deadwood: The Movie (2019) Deadwood has never shied away from its own meta streak, and the movie proves no exception. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 31, 2019
79% Amy Schumer Growing (2019) With Growing, Schumer finally, consciously evolves. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 20, 2019
70% Isn't It Romantic (2019) Wilson may not be a radical reimagining of the rom-com protagonist, but she does represent an expansion of its previously narrow parameters. It can't and won't upend a template it holds so much obvious affection for. But it does model a path forward. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
100% Cameron Esposito: Rape Jokes (2018) With swagger and passion, Esposito makes a statement that still never stops being funny. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
92% Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (2018) Relatable is the work of an entertainer who has given herself permission: to admit just how awful it felt to be rejected by people she loves because of who she is; to complain about being asked to dance wherever she goes; to not be relatable. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
93% The Favourite (2018) The Favourite is one of the best of 2018... - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 3, 2018
91% Widows (2018) The movie isn't interested in being about women, or even womanhood, so much as the specific women we watch mature from partners of convenience into true equals. And yet these people aren't a mere substitute for an archetypal male character. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
90% A Star Is Born (2018) Bradley Cooper's 2018 rendition of A Star Is Born manages the impossible: bringing this seemingly old-fashioned story about fame into the present while retaining its classical, timeless appeal. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 8, 2018
83% Confirmation (2016) Confirmation registers upon revisit as something far more interesting and evocative than a historical moment's dutiful retelling. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 26, 2018
100% Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) Hannah Gadsby's Nanette is the mic drop to end all mic drops-a cross between comedy special and one-woman show that's actually a 69-minute Dear John letter to the entire enterprise of stand-up. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2018
100% John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City (2018) Kid Gorgeous is a polished, whip-smart, joyful offering from a midcareer comic who's made all three of those descriptors a signature. To be great, a special doesn't necessarily have to be a game-changer-it just has to make you laugh. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 2, 2018
100% Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018) Where Baby Cobra saw Wong feign longing for a more traditional kind of femininity, in Hard Knock Wife she addresses the financial realities of her marriage head-on. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2018
24% Overboard (2018) A charming but forgettable reboot...As a movie, Overboard delivers. As Anna Faris's return to the multiplex, however, it can't help but disappoint. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted May 7, 2018
36% I Feel Pretty (2018) I Feel Pretty isn't just a regression from Inside Amy Schumer; it's a less shrewd treatment of almost identical themes. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2018
100% Chris Rock: Tamborine (2018) Rock has thus made his most personal special without ever getting that personal - a testament to his talents, not a criticism of them. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2018
100% Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (2017) "It's chaos, be kind" is how Oswalt closes the special, a perfect motto for both this highly specific story and whoever might be listening. It's not exactly revolutionary, but that's what makes it so profound. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2017
95% Louis C.K.: 2017 (2017) Few comedians have managed to dodge the dog-caught-the-car problem of successful stand-ups as smoothly as C.K. has. Look no further than his latest special, Netflix's 2017, for proof. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 15, 2017
27% Pan (2015) Because between the inadvertently hilarious and the downright offensive, Pan is a generic mold for a reboot that shares little with the original beyond a handful of proper nouns. - Flavorwire EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2017
75% Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Rowling imbues Fantastic Beasts from start to finish with a sense of discovery. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2017
100% Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (2017) Bright Lights is a heartbreaking tribute to a singular mother-daughter relationship. - The Ringer EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 11, 2017
31% Staten Island Summer (2015) If [Colin] Jost is angling for a big-screen, or in this case laptop screen, career, Staten Island Summer is an inauspicious start. - Flavorwire EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2017